"One final questions, what did that vile wretched human say to you?" Sylvia asked, referring to Lloyd, her hate for him clear and unhidden. Her eyes focused solely on Tanya, and they burned with a fiery passion and rage. Tanya looked away again unable to meet her questioner's eyes. "When he came to bandage our wounds, he asked Happs whether he thought Kressle had any use for a doctor in the camp. Niko caught on to what he meant first, and they decided it was quite likely, especially with bringing back her lieutenant. The doctor gave Happs some drug to ease his pain and told us to be ready to leave sometime in the night." She said meekly looking up after, Stefan nodding to indicate this was true. Sylvia stood up, her face a mix of loathing and hate. "Very well, you two remain her, if you try to escape from Oleg I'll personally hunt you down and I can assure you. I WILL make it unpleasent when I catch you. But you were smart enough to avoid listening to that fool of a doctor and stayed so this is good. Now be good and relax and rest." She said through gritted teeth, departing quickly after.
Once Sylvia exited the building she shouted nothing coherant to the others. It was in Draconic she was shouting, a language she hardly used mostly because she never had to, but when she was beyond furious she lapsed between common and Draconic. After her vent she went over to Lloyd's trunk and glared at it. "I don't care what tricks or gadgets that little bastard has with him. I will have him dead by the end of this!" She shouted at the trunk, kicking it solidly causing it to bump and rattle and her foot to throb slightly. "They left close to morning, during his watch shift, Niko and Happs went with him, they took the horses clearly, and they are headed for the bandit camp at the very least. We have to catch them and we have to now, alive or dead. Lloyd is of no use to us neither is Happs or Niko, they have no new information and are clearly set on avoiding paying off their dues." She said in an eerily calm voice to those present without meeting their gaze.
"I won't assume the role of leader, but I'll be damned if we sit around with our thumbs twiddling while those three ruin any chance we have of taking the camp by surprise, and adding that disgusting doctor to their ranks." She said spitting on the ground in disgust after. "I'm not going ti withhold this time, if it comes to it I will kill them." She said, her eyes meeting Sordin's and then Ortlieb's. "I'm sorry if this seems harsh and doesn't sit well with anyone here, they are cut throats and wouldn't hesitate to kill us, I won't show them mercy, if they die then they die." She said, her eyes serious and her face neutral. She had killed before in her time of desperation, and she wouldn't hesitate to do it again if it ment ensuring the saftey of those she has come to like and befriend.
((Owen posted me what Lloyd said, so he could sleep and I could simply include it here instead of needless posting. If anyone is curious what Sylvia was ranting then just send me a PM or ask. Also yes she has declared she will use lethal force, and has explaind why, mostly because cut throats dont show mercy either, usually lol.))
Ortlieb listened attentively as the elf related her reasons for her care-free attitude. Travelling with players was certain to have been a more peaceful way to encounter new places and people. Ortlieb had never himself encountered any performers of the type Aria spoke about, but in his mind he had an image of silly men making fun of pompous men. He could see how such a group of people would have had a relaxing effect on the woman.
The smile she gave him startled him less because of her tale. With a troupe of players, he supposed, you would get to encounter all sorts of oddities. Perhaps the lands of Brevoy really were as tolerant as they claimed. But Ortlieb would continue to keep his back up, and his skin thick. Trust must be earned and from what he had experienced of people, humans in particular, that trust must difficult to win, lest disaster strike.
He bent closer to the ground as his thoughts were caught by the signs that lay for his experienced eyes to see. (Survival check - take 10) Straightening he directed Aria to a more specific area of trees and began to follow Sylvia's tracks. "She went this way. It doesn't look like she tried to cover her tracks at all." The trail was easy enough to follow and the two soon found the distinctive blue-hair of their comrade.
Ortlieb approached slowly, but not trying to be silent. He assumed the sorceress had seen them approach, but he didn't wish to startle her if she hadn't. "Sylvia? Are you alright?"
((Did I do that right? The skill check thinger? o_o I have no clue and Sib had to go to work so I couldn't ask, but I still wanted to post.))
Everyone seemed to be less than pleased with Lloyd's decision, although Ortlieb couldn't help but be a little relieved. Trying to keep their group together and functioning was something that would be much more easily accomplished without the abrasive and temperamental doctor.
While waiting for Sylvia to finish her interrogation, the half-orc went and fetched Lloyd's trunk. It was not particularly heavy and sounded like it contained various metallic things. It could be merely coins or, knowing Lloyd (or not knowing him at all), it could be any range of obscure tools or equipment the man had thought necessary to bring with him. Although, not, it seemed, important enough to take with him in his escape.
"Does anyone have experience with locks? It would be quicker to pick it than break it open, although that remains an option." The large half-orc fingered his club as he spoke.
He looked up as Sylvia came into hearing, yelling incomprehensibly. She eventually calmed down enough to switch to common, although Ortlieb really hadn't needed a translator to assume she'd been ranting about Lloyd and his eventual demise by her capable hands. Everyone listened quietly as Sylvia explained her views, fairly calmly, Ortlieb thought, considering. He found he did not disagree with them. Although he had no particular vengeance to settle against any of the three, other than Lloyd's betrayal, which the druid found not extremely distressing, the men had had a chance at fair trial and made their choice. Sylvia was right that they no longer had any useful information and he had no qualms about hunting down prey. It was the way of life.
"I agree with Sylvia. I will take no pleasure in their deaths, but unless they can be securely kept, unlikely with our traitor, I see no other option. A swift death might be more merciful than what awaits the two bandits, after their leader finds out they freely gave us information."
Junn eyed down the blade of his sword checking to make sure it was true
"Im no suprised Lloyd left this group functions about as well as a dead horse, why wouldnt he take his chances at a strong and functional group that actually gets the job done order over chaos heh reguardless... his betrayal cant be over looked but were waisting time every second we stand here they are getting further away and atleast some of us should go and try and head them off and if there are no objections I would like to lead the assult party and I suggest we leave now with the remaining horse."
Junn holstered his blade and stared at the party eyes cold as stone
Sylvia looked down from her perch in the branches and smiled weakly. "I'll be fine, what he said just brought up some....unpleasentness that I had to deal with." Her eyes watered a bit but she blinked it back turning her head away to hide her sorrowful expression. "I thought I had escaped from people like him when I fled my old....home." She used the word lightly with an almost regret about it. Recomposing herself enough she looked back at her friends and waved Aria over. "Come on, no need to stand to the side you can be as much a part of this conversation as your comforatable with." She said, her voice losing the usual flare she carried with it, sounding weak and almost childlike, more so to a child who had just been beaten for doing something wrong and they were not told why. "I want to apologize, to you, and the rest of the group, for my outburst. Lloyd is excluded. I will not work with or be near that disgusting man." She said, a little feigned anger rising but dieing quickly.
She carefully climbed down from the tree but slumped against it and sliding down to a sitting position with her hands holding her knees. Her new little snake friend slithered up and around her shoulders, staring at his companion with concern. Fang knew what she had been through, and he wished he could talk to her and comfort her, he also wished he could actually show emotion on the outside other then hissing and tongue flicking.
Sylvia looked at her snake and smiled weakly patting his head. "I met Ramathu your brother, I would like you to meet Fang." She held her arm out and Fang slithered along it wrapping himself around and protruding towards Ortlieb and Aria. "He is very special to me, I don't know how, or why, but I have known him my whole life." She said, a light smile on her face, it was a small glimmer in her othwrwise gloomy and depressed demenour.
Sylvia nodded at Junn. "They only get the job done through bullying and pure luck I assume, much less effectively then a well oiled machine which we will hopefully become as time passes. But I agree with Junn we need to depart, and the sooner the better. We shouldn't send a singular person ahead reagrdless of how injured the badits are. I don't know what tricks that fool of a doctor has up his sleeves, or the others, but if one of us goes it is still three against one." She pointed out, meeting Junn's eyes and sharing the same coldness. She knew time was of the essence but at the same time sending a lone rider after them was a rushed plan. But a plan none the less. She turned to Ortlieb and pointed at the trunk. "Count to ten, if no one steps up to pick it my vote is you or Ramathu smash that thing open."
Syliva responded quietly, like a broken child. Ortlieb could not but help thinking of one time when he and Ramathu had freed the captive animals from a zoo-like travelling band. They poor creatures had barely enough will to run from their captors, so beaten were their spirits. Some small anger rose in the half-orc, who'd so often been treated as such an animal himself, but he reminded himself he was not an animal, and therefore had control over himself and his actions. And he would help this girl find the strength to overcome what had been done to her in the past.
"It is an honour to meet you, Fang," Ortlieb addressed the snake with dignity, offering a slight bow. "I am glad you have someone, as I have Ramathu, to help you in your journeys. So long as our paths remain connected, I would also offer my brotherhood." He spoke quietly, but firmly, wishing to make clear there was no doubt in his decision and intentions.
Junn was impatient. Ortlieb could understand this, and felt the urge leave upon him as well, but he knew it would be foolish to rush headlong into things. And although a horse would help them catch up, it could only carry one person. The druid was also unsure if Claptrap was up to hard riding. Still, he nodded at Junn, "Gather what things you want, I don't know when we'll be back. But I am unsure if leaving the Levetons without a quick means of sending messages would be advisable."
He turned back to the table and the trunk that sat on it. "I also want to find out what's inside of this thing." He glanced briefly at Sylvia. "Ten." The half-orc hefted his club, swinging it strongly, and brought it to bear on the lock of the trunk.
Posted on 2011-12-22 at 17:29:33.
Edited on 2011-12-22 at 17:31:17 by Karcitis
Smashing things is clearly the way to a womans heart, or at least giggles.
Sylvia blinked a bit at Ortlieb, his words had taken her by surprise and for a moment she was unsure how to respond. He had offered he the one thing she had wanted in her life almost as much as freedom, family. "Brotherhood?...me?" She said, a conflicted look in her eyes, she wanted to accept his offer and call him brother but the cautious side of her lept trying to pervade into her thoughts and tell her no. "That-that is the nicest thing anyone has ever offered me..." She said again, her voice light trembling slightly. She got to her feet slowly her strength renewed for the most part. "It would be an honor." Sylvia said to Ortlieb with genuine sincerity, no double talk or secretive hints. She bowed as deep as she could to him, but quickly stood and on blind impulse as she usually operated during tremendous emotional swings, flung her arms around her brother and hugged him tight. Fang sensed the happy mood and hissed quietly, slithering off his friend slowly and over to Aria, not intending to leave but give Sylvia space for the moment.
((Me and Owen have been over this, and Fang has personality, but for the most part everyone really would just seem him as a quirky snake right now.))
Sylvia clapped her hands and giggled as the chest was struck and the loud bang rang out. She loved it when the simplest method sometimes proved to be simply hitting something till it gave way. Her face was alight and her eyes reflected those of a child who had just been giving their first piece of candy.
Ortlieb delivered a solid smack to the padlock, but it refused to budge under even such a forceful blow. Not to be deterred for long, the half-orc adjusted his plan of attack and instead brought his club down upon the otherwise unprotected top of the box. The first blow splintered the wood and caved the top, and the second completely shattered it.
Taking a second to clear out the debris, Ortlieb found that the chest was indeed filled with coins. There were only a couple hundred total, but the majority were gold, with a couple handfuls of copper and one or two silver here and there. There was also an envelope tucked into a sheaf along the back wall of the chest, containing Lloyd’s copy of the Greenbelt Charter. He must have stuck it in there to forget about while keeping it safe.
“There’s that mystery solved.” Oleg had been keeping a comparatively level head in the face of the treachery, though it was likely more due to being so gloriously upstaged by Sylvia in two languages than any real efforts to maintain his temper. “Now, I mean to see those three bastards hanging from my walls, if that could be arranged. I’d let you take Claptrap, but he’s getting up there in age and one horse won’t sit the five of ye, much less adding the gorilla.
“With their wounds, I doubt they could have looked after all six horses—they likely mounted themselves and set the rest loose, so if you see any, you can try to bring them back. Priority goes to those traitorous cutthroats, though.”
(Unless anyone has any objections or further things to do, you can all get started on your run right away. One advantage you have over the foregoing company is that you can undergo forced march whereas Lloyd’s company can’t maintain too harsh of a pace or risk injury. Also, though, you have to either track them (no major difficulty, but might slow you down a bit) or try to cut them off on the way to camp by picking a direction on the map and running that way.)
Dawn had already passed, and as the sun’s morning rays shone through the forest canopy, creatures started to awaken from the night’s slumbers. Others retreated back to their lairs after a night in their nocturnal activity. But there was one who was in neither of these categories: he scampered about the forest floor, this being the mid-point in his day. He was currently chading after a small rabbit, which he had spotted some ten minutes earlier. He was not too hungry, so he had given his prey a fighting chance, allowing it to flee from him. It allowed him to work on his skills in fighting, survival, and agility; all three of which needed to be top notch at all times.
Suddenly, he stopped. He heard voices, and from what little common he had picked up over the years, they were cursing. He decided to let the rabbit go, and instead decided to sneak up and investigate into the voices. Most likely, they would be bandits – their common attire would indicate as much – and if they were, he would leave them be. However, if they were unique looking warm-bloods, he would need to survey them further.
Creeping through the undergrowth and dead foliage of the last season, he came to a ditch where he looked up on the people. They road on the tremendous quadruped beasts they called “horses,” and two of them were most defiantly bandits. However, it was the one that lead them that piqued his interest. The creature was clothed in a long black coat, and had black leather gloves and a wide brimmed hat. His face was covered by a mask that resembled that of a scavenger bird: like a magpie of a raven. He was rather quiet, but when he did speak, it was to silence the other two. The silent observer decided to follow them for a time, and as he picked up words, and assessed their condition, he came to the conclusion that they had been attacked, imprisoned, and then escaped. The masked one had aided in their plight, and was now off with them to join the ranks of the bandits.
But he was overjoyed. To the hells with the three and their plans! It was the last bit of info he got that made him happy! They had spoken of others coming after them; that they would end their lives! If these people came to kill bandits, then perhaps he had found what he was looking for! Further observation would have to be done, but this was perhaps the one time he had at getting allies!
Letting the three go on, he followed where they had come from, and figured that their pursuers would follow their tracks. He now knew where they would enter the forest. So he decided to wait. He would hide off in the brown and green foliage, out of sight. If he could determine that these new comers would be champions of justice and good, then perhaps just maybe he had the chance to save his people. He only prayed to the gods that there were indeed good warm-bloods...
The tracks of three of the horses ran straight to the southwest, directly toward the forest. Every few miles Ortlieb would stoop to check some feature of the plain invisible to the others, confirming the bandits’ heading, but each time he came to the same conclusion, that they were travelling toward the forest.
When they were about a mile or two from the edge of the so-named Narlmarches in their third hour of travel, the party came upon a man, coming from the west. As he got closer, they recognized him for one of the two men having lunch at the Post when they first arrived.
“Hey!” called the man, “You coming from Oleg’s? You wouldn’t happen to have seen a foul man named Breeg Orlivanch come by that way in the last few days? He was supposed to be out here laying his traps. My partner and I have been trying to find that vile son of a worm. It seems he got lost out here.
“Not out of the goodness of our hearts, mind you. The nasty leech owes us money, but he hasn’t shown his face in almost two weeks. Mayhap he’s finally run afoul of something meaner than him, or one of his stupid set-ups got him.”
He thanked them for their help and headed back north to the Post after confirming that he hadn’t seen any bandits coming his way. (If you want to talk to this guy more or roleplay out your responses, go ahead and ask him something. I essentially just provided him his answers and asked the automatic default question that would have been on the party’s minds, thinking to keep us on track this time and not to completely halt y’all for another round of posts).
Thereafter they entered the forest proper, perfectly oblivious to the silent tail they picked up at the forest’s edge.
Achuak moved between the trees silent as a shadow, always staying within earshot of the group’s conversation, but never coming close enough to risk being spotted. Of all the warm-bloods he had ever seen roaming the area, these were easily the strangest lot.
The one in front, which he recognized as their tracker was massive, with dark green hide reminiscent of his own scales. It had long tusks growing out from its lower jaw, and very long black hairs coming out of its head. He supposed this one was like a creature he’d heard about before, an orc? Next to the orc was a much smaller one, closer to his own size, but all covered in black hair. It wore no clothing—perhaps it was a whelp? Achuak was rusty on warm-blood lifestyle.
Following it were two of what he suspected were females (remember: when dealing with mammals, look for the mammaries!), but one had hair of what Achuak understood to be extremely unusual colouration among mammals.
Finally, bringing up the rear there were two warm-bloods, the first that came close to three times Achuak’s height, with strange, pupil-less eyes and pointed ears, and the second having different skin colouration from the rest of the humans, but looked nothing like the orc.
His sharp eyes made note of their weapons. A club, a knife, and a handful of darts on the tracker. The juvenile was unarmed, but appeared very strong by its movements. The shorter female carried three knives, while the blue-haired one had a spear and a sling with a pouch for bullets. In the rear the tall one, who he now thought looked an awful lot like the description of an elf, carried a longbow and a sword longer than he was tall, while the last carried shorter versions of the same equipment.
He took the time to learn their names. Ortlieb, Aria, Sylvia, Junn, and Sordin. Finally, armed with his careful study, he decided it was either now, or never. He slipped out from the undergrowth in perfect silence and struck.
A small bipedal lizard stepped out of the bush suddenly, a few yards ahead of them. It had dark green scales and red pupils, and wore a miniature version of the leather armour that garbed the majority of the party. On its back was a crossbow near as long as the kobold was tall, and he (you supposed it was a he) wore a sword scarcely any bigger than a dagger, with a knife that was even smaller. In his outstretched hand was a dead rabbit.
“Achuak not want to fight with warm-bloods; bring gift.” He set the rabbit down before Ortlieb. “Achuak knows what warm-bloods are looking for. Achuak can help. Warm-blood Ortlieb can find prey, but petisse Achuak can sneak up on prey and lay traps. Only Achuak ask warm-bloods to help Sootscale clan after.”
Sylvia blinked at the approach of the small lizard-like character's apperance and and offering of peace. "Well, hello to you to." She said a little confused, but seeing as this little creature wasn't currently trying to shoot and/or gut them she decided to be friendly. She crouched down to his level and met his eyes wondering what he was exactly. "Well, um, Green Walker? It is a pleasure to meet you, and your saying you can help us find who we seek?" She said understanding the little bit of Draconic he had used and speaking it back in Common without realizing the other might be confused. She offered her hand and a friendly smile to the little Kobold.
Posted on 2011-12-23 at 19:28:07.
Edited on 2011-12-23 at 21:08:12 by Zeakol
The first of the females had come up to him and crouched to his height. Achuak could not tell if this was supposed to be a form of mockery or humility, and it seemed like the later as she held out her hand. She asked what his full name was, and he was surprised that she even picked up on him shortening it.
“Achuak Zhinar.” He stated. “I be Achuack Zhinar of clan Sootscale.” Taking the open hand as a symbol of acceptance, Achuak transferred the rabbit to her. There was a single clean wound on the neck where Achuak snuck up and sliced it; but there was no blood. He had hung it upside down to drain most of it – he had observed that most humans did not eat meat raw, but prepared it so that it there was less bodily fluids in it. He had not had the time to figure out how to properly carve it up, since meat was meat to him, but he made sure that at least the bleeding was completed so that they could get right to the butchering process.
With his gift given, Achuak stepped back and looked at the five larger folk. “I give you meat as peace gift. I also offer help with bandits; masked one and two others travel through here in morning. I help you fight them as needed; they know not I be with you – I can go ahead and make sure traps are not at camp. Better we do at night: I see better in light of moon and stars then bright sun. Because warm bloods not as keen eyes at night, make even easier I take out any snapper-traps with being seen. If you no like, I will help other ways, but this is best way I help.”
Achuak then pulls out some twine from his backpack. “I can also tie this around bandits feet while sneaking up. They may trip to begin with because of it! Or if you give me time, I can make and set up my traps in their camp! But that take time, which it sounds like you not have. But I am trap maker, placer, and breaker. And I know woods well – where dangers are, and where good things are too. I can also hunt food, and make sure your camp has warnings with string and sticks! I can be very helpful, even though I am weak.”
Achuak breaths deeply. “But remember: I help you, you help me. Kobold clan has new purple kobold leader. He be dangerous – make kobolds kill others and each other. He brings a new god, and though kobolds hate it, any who go against it die from a curse! I am part of Kobold clan under Sootscale, but I be up above as scout and guard. When I go down some moons ago, I find Kobold clan need sacrifice to unknown god. Purple Kobold had come to tribe, named Tartak, demanding sacrifices. Purple kobold never heard or seen before, so chief Sootscale pressed by rest of tribe to take him and listen to him. Now tribe dying from curse if they do not do as Tartak says! Sootscale cannot attack himself, for fear of curse on himself and whole tribe. Sootscale did not even ask me to help, I decide myself – Sootscale may attack us too. But I need to save tribe, I may not live with them in body, but my heart and soul belong to them entirely. Will you help?”
Posted on 2011-12-24 at 00:28:54.
Edited on 2011-12-24 at 00:36:49 by Shades331
Sylvia was again surprised by the rabbit now in her hand, but she took at as a good sign and held onto it. She would have someone cook it later, or try so herself. "Well Green Walker I will help you gladly after our task is finished, and I agree with the night attack plan. But we have to catch up to them first so we don't lose sight of them, if your confident enough a few hinderances and trap removal on their part would be much appreciated. I'm not sure, but, if you are also up to it could you remove any weaponry or suspicious items from that lot and perhaps give it to us before we strike?" She asked, something kept nagging at the back of her mind, the little guy before her was speaking in a dumbed down manner and it didn't seem right to her. "Does this tongue suit you better?" She asked in Draconic, she didn't know the name of the language but she knew she could speak it, and sometimes did without realizing it.
((Side note: everytime Sylvia lapses, or speaks, Draconic I'll be using Italics to represent it.))
Green Walker's beady red eyes widened and he moved his head back slightly as he took to the initial shock of his mother tongue being spoken.
"Indeed, this language is far better for me to talk in. I am not too familiar with your language: I have only picked words up from bandits and from what Sootscale has learned."
Green Walker nodded. "And I am to understand that you asked to steal weapons? I can defiantly do that if that is what you asked for. I have actually taken quite a few things from them in the past: little things, since most of your stuff is far too large for me to use. But the twine I use for my traps, food, water, and the occasional coin has all been taken from them at one point or another. Stealing their weapons could be riskier, since I more so just take their unattended belongings, but I will be able to determine what to do when the time comes. For now, I would say you should rest. One of you looks like he has tired himself out, and rest and food would do him well. I doubt that the bandits will want to do any more traveling then needed as one of them looked like he was lounging about at Death's door. But if you have some other reason for urgently running on, I will be glad to scout ahead."
It was still morning, but Green Walker felt the need to inform his potentially new companions about how his days have worked so far. "I will let you know right now that I am nearing the end of my day myself; I have been up since about midnight, I usually work with a half night, and half day schedule. I am not yet tired, but I should retire for sleep in a couple hours. If we plan to attack the bandits tonight, I recommend you all take the time to rest before dusk."
Green Walker bows. "Remember: I help you, you help me. You know what is happening to my tribe, and I expect you to aid them. If things go badly tonight, with either the plan going wrong or I fail to see the morning, I still expect you to fulfill your side of the bargain. I will let you translate all this to your tribe before I begin. I cannot risk my life if I cannot have each of your tribe's word that you shall aid my kin."
Posted on 2011-12-24 at 01:45:32.
Edited on 2011-12-24 at 01:48:26 by Shades331
Sylvia nodded slowly. "We don't need the weapons taken far, but even just stashed to the side out of the way from their reach, making them flounder about unarmed would be sufficient, don't risk your life needlessly. I'll translate to my friends for you now." Turning to her friends she cleared her throat and collected her thoughts. "Green Walker, our new Kobold friend here, has offered to assist us in apprehending, or killing, those three. He says he can lay traps, or at the very least make it harder for them to fight by tieing their ankles together with twine and moving their weapons to the side mayhap. He has said they passed this way this morning so we shouldn't be to far behind. He reccomends we attack at night, so we have the element of surprise and he can see better to remove any traps they may have hidden. He can also set some up in their camp if given time, but if we don't have it then the first options would work best in my opinion." She said, taking a breath before continuing, and giving her friends a moment to let what she said sink in.
"However, he wants us to assist him and his clan Sootscale after he has assisted us. I have volunteered myself, and he will only help us on the condition that we all promise to help him after. I see no harm in this, we gain an ally, and we have a perhaps easier time with Lloyd, Niko, and Happs." She turned and nodded at Green Walker, then looked back at her friends. "I can translate for him, he doesn't speak our common tongue to well. He reccomends we take a moment to rest and regroup, then continue at nightfall and take Lloyd's group. What say the rest of you?" Sylvia raised an eyebrow looking over her friends curiously, Fang curled around her neck and shoulders lightly.
Ortlieb was concerned, at first, that he had overstepped his boundaries, in offering his brothership. But Sylvia's hesitation seemed to resolve itself and she accepted with a shaking voice. Any doubts her quavering voice might have signified were completely banished as she gave him a bear hug, an unusual sight indeed, given the respective sizes of the participants.
The druid was less startled this time, as he had started to get used to Sylvia's abrupt, physical displays of emotion. He gently wrapped a brawny arm around her in a return hug, patting her softly on the back. "I am glad. And I hope you are feeling better." Ortlieb paused, knowing Sylvia might be resistant to returning to the fort so soon. But they did not know what awaited them on the dawn of a new day, and it would be best to know where everyone was for the night. "You probably do not want to return so quickly, but it will grow dark soon, and the trading post is safest with everyone together. Regardless of circumstances."
(And unless you want to continue this little tender moment (or post a short reaction or something), xD, I'm happy to end here, with the assumption they returned home safely.)
The tracking of the escapees had gone well so far. Ortlieb believed they had made decent time, and might even be catching up, if the horses were going slow to accommodate the wounded. All signs pointed that the small party had entered the forest, and their own group followed.
They were not too long in the forest before a small, reptilian creature appeared before them. The druid could not but chide himself for being so negligent. He should have realized they were being tracked themselves. It was only good fortune that the small creature seemed to be alone, and friendly. As the creature, Achauk, spoke further, Ortlieb felt only slightly better, as it seemed the kobold was well versed in the ways of the wild, and knew well how to conceal itself and other surprises.
He surmised that the creature had been following them for some time, as it knew enough to know their names. Either that or it wasn't being as honest as it claimed. But Ortlieb was inclined to believe him, if only because he wasn't offering something for nothing, according to Sylvia's translation. In agreeing to his help, Achauk asked that they in turn help him free his fellows from this curse. The druid did not find anything particularly dissatisfying about the offer, but it needed to be made clear they had other responsibilities as well.
"I do not want to refuse, Achuak," Ortlieb took care to pronounce the name as well as he could, given his unfamiliarity with the unusual combination of sounds. "But it must be made clear - we do not only want to hunt down the three on horses you have seen. We have promised to help the Levetons with their problem, which means taking care of the camp as well." He spoke to the entire group as well now, "We cannot let the bandits retaliate, especially if we are not there to defend the trading post. I have no issue with helping Achuak with his problem in return for his services, but it must wait until the bandits, all of them, are firmly dealt with."
Posted on 2011-12-24 at 03:49:48.
Edited on 2011-12-24 at 03:51:33 by Karcitis